It’s been a difficult season for Who Dat Nation, with the New Orleans Saints finishing a disappointing 9-8 and needing help in the form of losses from both the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks to get into the playoffs during quarterback Derek Carr’s first year in the Big Easy.
But honestly, this almost makes the whole season worth it.
The Saints played their best game of the season today in the Caesar’s Superdome as they took on bitter rival Atlanta Falcons, with a 4-touchdown performance from Carr and a 48-17 win over the Dirty Birds.
But New Orleans wasn’t happy to just win. They wanted to crush the Falcons – and rightfully so in such a heated rivalry.
So late in the game, with the victory firmly in hand, the Saints lined up in victory formation during a 1st and goal at the Falcons’ 1 yard line – and ran a fake handoff to Jamaal Williams for a touchdown.
The Saints set up in victory formation in what looked like it would be a kneel down and then handed it off to Jamaal Williams for a TD. pic.twitter.com/Spz8oKCkji
That’s what the folks in New Orleans call “lagniappe.” Just a little something extra.
But after the game, Falcons head coach was none too happy with the Saints running up the score.
As the coaches met at midfield to shake hands as time ran out, Falcons was clearly heated at Saints coach Dennis Allen. You couldn’t really hear much of what was said, but one thing came through loud and clear:
Now, was that last touchdown really necessary? Of course not. Even as a Saints fan I can admit that.
But did Saints fans love it? Absolutely. Did the team love it? You know they did. Did Saints GM Mickey Loomis love seeing his head coach be that aggressive late in the game? Probably so, and for a coach who hasn’t exactly won over the fanbase, that’s important.
And let’s face it: This is a rivalry game. The biggest rivalry for both teams. You don’t go out there to play nice. You put a dagger through the hearts of your opponents and then dance on their grave.
That’s exactly what the Falcons would do if they were in that position. And the Saints would be just as upset. That’s what makes football so much fun.
But during his postgame press conference, Allen started out by…apologizing for running up the score, calling it “unacceptable.”
Saints coach Dennis Allen: I’m gonna start by apologizing to Arthur Smith and the Falcons.
Said they should’ve taken a knee. But guys wanted to get Jamaal Williams a TD and that’s “unacceptable.”